All our mistrals (mistrials)

I reveled in storms
standing in the yard
daring the lightning
wet hair hanging
like a robe

She was always afraid
of storms, something
I could give back
talking through
every burst
on the touch-tone

And in 1996
when the tornadoes came
and the tree fell
inches from mortality
we laughed–
I had coffee, cold
with the lights out
she had tea

and we laughed


I feel unsteady

these days
not the metaphysical bit
of the mind off kilter

but the way you did not expect of me
toddling over ice and snow
in fear of falling

no longer dancing lightly up and down steps
my skirt brushing my ankles
daring me to try it

Conversations: (why) don’t you trust me

I was told to open up
I was asked to show my real face

/don’t you trust me yet/

(no. But I can’t tell you that. You might be dangerous.)

/what is the real you/

[what are you wearing] Really? That?

please, don’t.

/show me/

Lana del Rey is crooning about Summertime from the other room while I have clicked on a poet I never read before, reading about her grief. The two meet somewhere between rooms and I imagine them as performance art. I write something to that effect on Twitter. Ten minutes later I get embarrassed. I delete it.

I show you a picture of an animal in a trap.

/ I don’t get it/

Then why ask to see it? Why ask for transparency without a measure of mercy and understanding in your pockets?

/show me more/

You’re a sadist, aren’t you?

/don’t you trust me?/


[should I?]

I don’t know.

yesterday, we

wind chimes tangled with the drapes
the phone rang

an unexpected flood
(the ending did not come fast)
of memory

your blue ribbon
for tenderness after the storm
mine ripped off me–
for fear of

forgive me–the
edge reminded me
of slides and roller coasters

should I say sorry
the bite mark

Monday Random: Let’s talk about depression

  • My husband has Mondays off, so Tuesdays are like Mondays for me; and yesterday was an impossible day to write this, so don’t worry, you did not go back in time
  • We’ve all heard the news this past week, like other weeks in the past, when someone takes their own life, or more than one someone
  • When suicide is in the news, some people on the news will talk about asking for help if you are in trouble, and others will talk about talking about it too much, that it will create copycats
  • I actually do believe that the latter can be true, as I think back to a time in my life where I romanticized suicide
  • There is nothing romantic about it, and I tend to avoid literature where it does seem to be the climax of the film and something very hopeless that had no other choices
  • This is not to say that we should not talk about it, hell no!
  • Hell no!
  • It is the secrecy that sometimes makes it oh, so easy, when no one knows to come and help
  • Or maybe you have been talking, and not felt listened to. And then there is that person who says, ‘it’s only a cry for help.’
  • Really? What does that tell you?
  • Yep, I’ve been through all the stages. The last stage was about fifteen years ago, when I promised my children that throwing in my cards was no longer on the table.
  • But I will say that this past week when I heard about the third suicide in as many days, that I started contemplating things
  • Then I told myself, ‘Stop it!’ ‘Quit it!’
  • Depression lies
  • So does fear

Continue reading “Monday Random: Let’s talk about depression”

on account of 1985

she tried to be everything he wanted
sunny smart sexy
in his esteem

feeling the mask slipping
she cried
over time loss misstep
the game was over

her hair
a hood about her
safety darkness cool
a sure thing

from every fear
of putting herself
out there
expanse air no railings

each sigh
that she imagined
would draw him near
pushing away the curtain

Monday, Monday (can’t trust that day)

I don’t typically have bad Mondays. To me Mondays have always been a sort of do-over for me, a fresh start to things that are best left to last week. Today felt like all those Mondays. The good news is I did not die when my husband drove nearly 50 in a 30 in the rain in anger when I made him late. In all fairness, we both set our alarm clocks wrong. He set his for Sunday and I set mine for p.m. But my body always wakes me up anyway. So I really have no excuse as I was up in plenty of time but was still eating my (oh so delicious) poppy seed bagel ten minutes before we had to leave. No I was not dressed yet either. So the anger was justified, but I didn’t want to die for it.

The other good news is that we don’t have bad brakes. In the process of loading himself into the car he shifted the emergency brake with his water bottle so the brake light came on. So our little detour to stop and check the brake fluid was not my fault, a minor point at such a moment, but since we are talking, I thought I’d throw myself on the mercy of the court.

This is where my day started to get better.

Continue reading “Monday, Monday (can’t trust that day)”

Palms up

The storm is not coming
it is here
it is not on the horizon
it is in the backyard, and at the front door, and
we all share a piece of this body of work
the proverbial sex buffet called life
a smorgasbord of longings dreams
and anticipations

Sometimes selfish, keeping the good stuff
protected and wearing well over time
close to the vest, while others bear the burden
of daily sacrifice
born out of a giant clock
like a newborn baby dinosaur
all hands and teeth and craving
wind chimes at every window
small insistant cymbals
buffer, muffler, white noise

Let it not be said I cannot forgive
but to give
haven’t I lived on this bed of nails
for years–cycling round
I look to Lenore and Jane to save me once more
precious pages upon pages of the stalwart

At the door, always ready with Halloween treets
sending the costumed ones away
when they have had their fill
then locking up tightly
nailing the shutters
like weekenders
we put life up in the garage, on blocks

Every day is Monday now
and no break in sight
in the eye of the twister
in this alien land

(are we) Guarded

I scare myself
(she says)
when I think too deeply, denying the walls and encumbrances held dear
opening doors wide, dragging feathers over fine china
[darling-you are the only thing precious enough that I
worry for breaking (us)]
if we continue to mis-handle
what is too fragile for words
and your heart–I was close to getting
my claws into–seems guarded–the castle
watched by half a dozen guards (and their dogs)
and you, I believe you want me
more than ever
but you will not tell me, no

So I scare myself
(she says to him)
half to death
with no venue to express to you
the depth and lightness of my soul
and this one thing I want more than any
that I would claw for, scratch your eyes
until they are useless (does that scare you)
and she
her dark skin, her caramel that is yours
will remain yours, but I will be happy
if I only see that spark in your eyes–that she can not have–
if I hear you say /sweetheart/
once more–and I believe you
because you are there for only me–
until you are not

Brain matter(s)

Sunset and reflection

It scares me when I find myself forgetting things so young. I wonder how bad it will get before it is over. I like to think it is temporary.  My hold on language that I felt very sure of at 18 and even at 38 feels more tentative now, like I am clinging to a rock cliff. That is why I can’t let go of it, and I constantly look for new expressions and inspiration. Then I find a page with words on it in my handwriting. I don’t remember it. I won’t complain, because I am not blind, and this is not cancer, and I have friends dealing with both of those, much more gracefully than I would. But it frightens me, and so I wanted to tell you.

I appreciate friends who may not understand, but extend kindness when I forget things or ask them to repeat something they have told me twice. At times I see something I have handled as if I am seeing it for the first time. Recently noticing others who are transparent and honest, I felt pulled to say this aloud, when I prefer to hide it. I am sure I am not alone in it.

seeing a sunset
each time you kiss my hand
this fairy tale